At Belswains Primary School, we have decided to teach Italian as our MFL. Learning a language is essential part of a broad and balanced curriculum. There are so many incredible benefits of learning languages. Your brain creates new connections, which help to sharpen your reading skills as the brain learns to express the ideas using a new set of words, meanings and rules. It also helps strengthen your memory, increasing the ability to associate and retain information. It provides an opportunity to communicate more effectively with others, and it also helps children to understand what it is to be a global citizen, respecting and celebrating both our differences and common interests.
Our local secondary schools teach French, Spanish, and German. When pupils join in Year 7, secondary schools start at the beginning. Italian is an Indo-European language and is very close to French, Spanish and German, as they are all derived from Latin. At Belswains Primary School, our intent is for pupils to be confident in speaking, reading and writing Italian and to then be able to transfer these skills to other languages, they choose to learn.
We are working in partnership with the Italian Embassy. Mr Corrado is our specialist Italian teacher, and he teaches all classes, from Nursery to Year 6. The development of speaking and listening skills is key across the entire age range, and to this end, songs, games and role play feature highly. As children progress through Key Stage 2, the skills of reading and writing become increasingly important. Not only do they serve to help children memorise new language, but they also enable links to be made with grammar learned in the English curriculum. It is exciting to watch children discover that they can make use of their grammatical knowledge in another language.
Our specialist Italian teacher develops the children’s speaking and listening skills through songs, games and role play which helps them move on to reading and writing Italian and becoming ever confident linguistically.
Statement of Intent
We believe in the importance of modern foreign languages in developing children’s linguistic competence and this is seen as a lifelong skill. Learning a language opens up avenues of communication and exploration as well as promotes, encourages and instils a broader cultural understanding and respect.
● To develop in children an enthusiastic, positive and respectful attitude to other languages and language learning
● For children to develop language skills and language learning skills
● To raise awareness of aspects of children’s own language and make comparisons with the foreign language, thereby enriching their understanding of both
● For children to become increasingly familiar with the sounds and written form of a modern foreign language
● For children to enjoy success and develop endurance in learning a new language
● For children to use their knowledge with growing confidence and competence to understand what they hear and read, and to express themselves in speech and in writing as well as ask questions
● To increase cultural understanding by learning about different countries and their people, and working with written materials from those countries and communities
Lesson plans follow a combination of the lead teacher’s own planning and the Language Angels scheme for Italian and are designed to meet the attainment targets of the KS2 Languages Programme of Study.
● learn in a non-threatening environment which builds upon positive achievement
● experience a range of activities, including songs, rhymes and games, which provide a stimulating and varied approach to language learning
● are given opportunities to listen to the teacher, to songs and rhymes, to each other and to native speakers
● apply their learning by reproducing sounds themselves and creating phrases and sentences
● develop phonic knowledge about the language
● begin to recognise and read words that they have already encountered in the development of their oracy skills
● write simple words and phrases using a model and, with increased competence, write more complex sentences on a range of topics, some from memory
● develop the ability to recognise rules or patterns in a new language and relate it to their existing understanding of their own language(s)
● gain an understanding of another culture and learn to look at things from another person’s perspective.
● show an awareness of and respect for the similarities and differences between people and appreciate the diversity of languages spoken within the school
● use their knowledge about the way language works and apply their knowledge when learning a new language
● become aware of how they learn and be able to plan to use specific strategies for particular tasks.
The cultural element of language learning is incorporated into lessons to bring the language alive.
Through the high quality first teaching of Italian taking place, we will see the impact of the subject in the following ways:
● Pupils will become aware that a language has a structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
● Pupils will develop their language and communication through development of the four key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
● Pupils will enrich their language learning by developing an understanding of the Italian culture.
● Children will transfer to KS3 effectively and successfully and will be well prepared to continue and develop their language skills.
Pupil’s progress is assessed with reference to the attainment targets of the Programme of Study for Languages.
Assessment is based on:
● class observations of listening and speaking activities
● written evidence in books and teacher feedback
● Language Angels’ assessments in speaking/listening/reading/writing for certain units, where appropriate
● Also, parents receive an annual written report about their child’s progress in Italian.